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The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness: How to Optimize Brain Health and Performance at Any Age [Kindle Edition]

Elkhonon Goldberg , Alvaro Fernandez , Pascale Michelon , Misha Pavel , Gloria Cavanaugh , Sandra Bond Chapman
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.95
Kindle Price: $7.95
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Book Description

Modern life places extraordinary demands on our brains. Not only do we live longer than ever before, but we must constantly adapt to complex and rapidly evolving personal and professional realities. Yet, we often ignore our most precious resource to do so: our brain.

The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness cuts through the clutter of misconceptions, superficial and conflicting media coverage, and aggressive marketing claims, to help readers discover what really works, and what doesn’t, to improve brain health and performance at any age, to delay or prevent cognitive decline, and become smarter consumers of both media coverage and scientific research in the process.

With useful, pragmatic and personalized tips and suggestions that are easy to implement, the SharpBrains Guide offers a groundbreaking new approach for self-assessing current brain fitness needs and identifying the most relevant and evidence-based methods to preserve and enhance brain function throughout life. Whether your goal is to become more resilient, enhance memory, ward off Alzheimer’s disease, or simply improve mental focus to perform better at work, this how-to guide shows you exactly how to “use it or lose it.”

This new and much-expanded edition of the guide AARP named a Best Book on Brain Fitness combines a user-friendly tutorial on how the brain works with advice on how to choose and integrate lifestyle changes and research-based brain training. Featuring an independent analysis of hundreds of scientific studies published in the last 10 years, the book also includes in-depth interviews with 20 leading scientists who often challenge conventional wisdom and prevailing brain health thinking and care.

A thought-provoking, practical and captivating read, the SharpBrains Guide makes the fascinating and complex subject of brain function and neuroplasticity easy to digest with its common sense approach. It’s time to rethink, and to truly apply, “use it or lose it.”


"One of those books you cannot ignore. Insightful, to the point, actionable. A book for leaders, innovators, thought provokers and everyone who wants to act and live smarter and healthier, based on latest neuroscience." —Dr. Tobias Kiefer, Director Global Learning & Development, Booz & Company

"A great start for making sense new brain science and for taking active steps towards smart health, at the individual level, and Smart Health, at the societal level." —Misha Pavel, PhD, Program Director for the National Science Foundation’s Smart Health and Wellbeing Program

"This is the book you need to begin to think differently about your brain and actively embrace the exciting and promising reality that your brain’s health is the cause of the century." —Sandra Bond Chapman, PhD, Founder and Chief Director, UT-Dallas' Center for BrainHealth

“An essential reference on the field of brain fitness, neuroplasticity and cognitive health” —Walter Jessen, PhD, founder and editor, Highlight Health

“Recognized by AARP as one of the best and most comprehensive source of information, this book manages to remain open minded yet adequately critical at the same–a good model for all sharp minds to follow and benefit from.” —Dr. Peter Whitehouse, Professor of Neurology at Case Western Reserve University

“A much-needed resource to help us better understand our brains and minds and how to nourish them through life.“ —Susan E. Hoffman, Director, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UC Berkeley

Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews

"Using charts, draw­ings, and up-to-date scien­tific stud­ies, they present the case that any brain, at any age, can change for the better...The authors sug­gest myr­iad activ­i­ties to help the process along...(This is) A stim­u­lat­ing, chal­leng­ing resource, full of solid infor­ma­tion and prac­ti­cal tips for improv­ing brain health." *– Kirkus Reviews*


"Your brain is your most pre­cious asset, and it is wise to invest in it," the authors write. Using charts, draw­ings, and up-to-date sci­en­tific stud­ies, they present the case that any brain, at any age, can change for the better...The authors sug­gest myr­iad activ­i­ties to help the process along...(This is) A stim­u­lat­ing, chal­leng­ing resource, full of solid infor­ma­tion and prac­ti­cal tips for improv­ing brain health." -Kirkus Reviews

Product Details

  • File Size: 3368 KB
  • Print Length: 284 pages
  • Publisher: SharpBrains, Inc; 2 edition (September 22, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #120,486 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
61 of 63 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My family has a history of dementia and Alzheimer's, so my wife and I are always on the lookout for new and helpful information about keeping our brains strong as we age. We've read more than a few and I haven't written reviews of any of them. I wanted to share a bit about why I did like this book and what prompted me to take the time to write a review. I found this book to be bursting with useful information. It is very easy to read and the information is presented beautifully for what I consider to be the intended audience - people like me without an advanced degree in brain-related science! At the same time, the content is very up-to-date so I am sure those in the field could learn quite a bit, too. The section of the book that I found most enlightening and interesting is about how exercise affects the brain. As a not-too-avid, but fairly consistent exerciser, I read this chapter hoping for it to rejuvenate my effort and it did because it presented the how and why of exercise's benefits for the brain. When my young son asked me why I was exercising again, I almost replied, "It turns out that the research shows that exercise can trigger changes in the brain that spur neuroplasticity, which is the production of new neurons and the connections between them!" But, instead I just said because it is good for me and for my brain... not because I don't think he could have understood, but more because I didn't want his follow-up questions to delay my neuroplasticity workout! I think another section that will be interesting to many readers as it was for me is the section about nutrition and the brain. The Mediterranean Diet, supplements' effect on brain health (or not), smoking, and obesity are a few of the topics covered. One last note... Read more ›
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Profoundly Motivating Book May 19, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What a wonderful read for a beautiful spring weekend!

Being a well-versed and daily practitioner of cognitive (and physical) exercise, I was particularly interested to learn about the research detailing the positive affects that some social activities have on our cognition. The walking book club idea to combine physical, cognitive and social stimulation inspired me to recommit to many pleasurable activities I enjoy as they are actually good for my brain!

With a thorough yet easily accessible overview of the most current research (via fascinating and thoughtful summaries and interviews) the book describes how a myriad of lifestyle choices impact our current and future brain and body health. The book makes a compelling case for lifelong brain fitness and will motivate the reader to join the growing number of people prioritizing stress reduction, happiness, social networks, physical and cognitive exercise - all pieces of the brain fitness jigsaw puzzle as discussed in depth in the book. I especially enjoyed the chapters on how to build emotional resilience, how to cross-train our brains and how to prioritize to create an individualized brain fitness program.

Reading this book will change the way you think about your brain, and perhaps the way you live.

Annette Goodman, Chief Education Officer, Arrowsmith Program
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
I've been studying the concept of doing things to protect the brain from decline with aging. Over 4 years I've read practically everything written for the non-scientific audience. There is on-going controversy about what works and what doesn't to mitigate dementia in old age, including the effects of Alzheimer's disease. This book provides the most current information about what's proven to help the brain stay fit and what are simply guesses. I like The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness because it's straightforward and easy to understand for the person who hasn't been immersed in the study of neuroscience. It sifts through all the marketing hype and tells exactly what a person can do to keep the brain healthy. A great read.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Brain plasticity - the ability of the brain to be changed - is the basis of the work, and the focus is on Lifestyle Changes. Medications are rarely mentioned.

The Lifestyle Changes mentioned are generally similar to those of several other books. There is an excellent chapter on brain training computer programs/games that seems lacking in other books of this subject. While there is diet discussion, thankfully there are no menus or recipes.
The physical book purchaser should examine the Appendix: "55 Important Brain Fitness Facts" as a decent summary of the main findings in the book.

The Index will tell you if the things you are interested in are there. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are in, but CoQ10 and statin drugs are out, for example.

From the Table of Contents you will see a pattern of:

* Be your own boss - take charge of your brain care
* Physical activity/exercise
* Eat and drink well - not many supplements work
* Mental challenges/brain exercise
* Social engagement and social life
* Learn to manage stress (both brain and heart benefits)
* Train your brain - emotion,attention,thought processes, and how
* Techniques to help you manage your brain care process

Somewhere in the book, one interviewee stated that whatever was good for the heart was probably good for the brain.

So, one could say that in rough summation, this is a combination of heart (and brain) healthy lifestyle plus some specific brain workout and development activity with some help in managing your own program.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent overview and synopsis of current thinking regarding brain...
Excellent overview and synopsis of current thinking regarding brain health and fitness and how to manage this important aspect of our health.
Published 10 days ago by George A Little
3.0 out of 5 stars the information in the book is good but I bought it wanting to learn...
I saw the video en YouTube and I thought I would be able to find more brain exercises in the book, the information in the book is good but I bought it wanting to learn more... Read more
Published 10 days ago by Lila Blue
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A great start for wanting to train your brain!
Published 12 days ago by Theodore Glendinning
4.0 out of 5 stars full of very useful facts as well as ways to stay cognitively sharp in...
Recommend book to anyone who is interested in improving their brain's ability to function as well as reduce cognitive loss as we age. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Karin M Lindholm
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
good guide
Published 3 months ago by Charles
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Serious material.
Published 3 months ago by shopper jo
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 4 months ago by moonbaelee
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
Interesting read on the newest science on this topic.
Published 4 months ago by Papajim
5.0 out of 5 stars I love that this book cuts through all the hype - ...
I love that this book cuts through all the hype - both pro and con - about cognitive enhancement. And the SharpBrains. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Tracy Boortz
3.0 out of 5 stars Helpfull.
Thorough and motivational. Ideas will expand a person's resources for brain building potential. Will lead you to many other sources.
Published 5 months ago by rk klein
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More About the Author

Alvaro Fernandez runs, a leading market research firm tracking health and well-being applications of brain science. Named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, he has been quoted by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, and more. Alvaro considers himself a "learning microorganism," and loves public speaking. He received masters in education and business from Stanford University, and teaches at UC-Berkeley Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. A native of Spain, he now lives in Washington, DC with his wife and young daughter.


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